When Are The Best Montana Hunting and Fishing Seasons?
In Montana, there’s a season for everything. Hunting, fishing, calving, ranching, harvesting, hiking, etc. But who’s to know when all of these seasons actually start? Here we go over the Montana Hunting and Fishing Seasons plus more that we can think of so you stay up to date on when the best time to come to Montana really is!
Montana Hunting and Fishing Seasons: When’s The Best Time?
Understanding the Montana hunting and fishing season can be a little tricky. Read our brief overview of all the changing seasons here and then start planning your trip. We’ve checked our info with the official state website, but let us know if we missed something!
Hunting Season in Montana
When it comes to the hunting season, there are so many different species, so we will provide the most popular here, but be sure to check the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks calendar for a complete list.
The antelope season typically starts October 6 and goes till November 11. 900 Series and Archery hunters start earlier, August 15 and September 1.
Deer & Elk
Though there are different dates for Archery, Youth Hunts, and Backcountry hunters, the typical hunting season start date is October 20 and ends on November 25.
The general bighorn sheep season starts September 15 and ends November 25.
Pheasant hunting season lasts a little longer than most. Start your hunt October 6th and end January 1.
Turkey hunting actually takes place twice a year, Spring and Fall. Start your Spring turkey hunt April 14 – May 20, and your Fall hunt September 1 – January 1.
Be sure to check all hunting and fishing regulations here so that you stay up to date on any changes to the Montana hunting and fishing seasons.
Fishing Season in Montana
Lucky for us, the Montana hunting and fishing seasons last a long time. Some die-hard fans would say that technically you can fish all year long.
If you’re like the rest of us, the best time to fish in Montana is from July to early September. The rivers have leveled off and should stay pretty consistent. Be warned that this is also the most popular time to fish, so if your favorite spots might be worth visiting from May to June or after Labor Day.
Ranching Season in Montana
Ranching season in Montana is obviously a 24/7 ordeal. There is so much work to get done, from tending the cattle to typical ranch work and fixing the land. Let’s break it down into some of the sub-seasons ranchers have to deal with.
Typically we think of calving season in the Springtime, anywhere from February to May. An abundance of baby cows are born in this period.
Cows are reproductively active at all time. However, we typically think of having Spring calves so we make sure our cows are bred to accommodate.
Since the typical gestation period for a cow is 285 days (roughly 9 ½ months), the “ideal” breeding season for having spring calves typically begins in May.
Haying season is typical during the summer months, and weather permitting, can start as early as May but more normally starts in June. Haying season can get delayed from the rain, as you should only cut hay that is dry.
Now You Know
Feel like you have a better handle on Montana hunting and fishing seasons? The best way to stay up to date is to check Montana.gov, the official state website, so that you know all the rules and regulations for every season. Follow them on social media and never miss out on new information.